I’ve spent the last three weeks serving the US Army during an exercise they call, Vibrant Response 13-2. I blogged extensively about it last summer but I had a different role this year and didn’t have enough spare time to put them together. The exercise was featured on Fox News this past Wednesday and can be seen at http://video.foxnews.com/v/2601500125001/disaster-training-for-emergency-responders/?playlist_id=938973798001 . I usually serve as the Deputy Area Commander assisting someone else but this year I was privileged to be the Area Commander overseeing the various Incident Commanders with military units assigned to them. I was essentially the director of resources and the collection point of all of the data that came in from the field. I then was tasked with providing it, along with feedback, to the various State and Federal agencies that needed it. I had the information that everyone wanted. We did a good job and kept track of mission completion and work times so that everyone could tell the difference between the perceived truth and the actual truth (ground truth). We worked an average of 13-14 hours a day for 21 straight days (270+ hours) to serve our country and the dedicated soldiers of the US Army. We knew what was expected of us before we left home and that a lot of people would depend on us, especially our customer, to be accurate in both our data collection and it’s interpretation. Our desire to serve was more important than the working conditions or hours. As I look back over the past three weeks and the thousands of soldiers that we directed or influenced, I can’t help but see a strong volunteer military filled with people who have chosen to serve rather than to be served. It was an honor to be part of their education and to work along side them to ensure that our Homeland Response Forces are ready if we should need them. There are great men and women who are serving or who have served our great nation in the military and we should not just remember them on Veterans Day but every day if we get the chance.
“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:26
In the past few weeks I’ve seen a lot of servant leadership and it always reminds me of Jesus Christ. Jesus was THE servant leader. He knew what was in store for Him but He served us anyway. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, performed miracle after miracle and always did it with our best interests in mind. He was often called Teacher and He served in that role as well. Jesus was determined to reach as many lost souls as He could before His Father would call Him home. Servant leadership means that we give up control of the effort so that others can learn and grow. We serve those that we are trying to lead so that they may become stronger; we are ones making sacrifices for the betterment of others. Jesus’ sacrifice was beyond compare but we are all better off because of it. We are free from sin because the servant leader put us before Himself. We all make sacrifices in our lives but some do it in hopes of getting something in return. Jesus made a sacrifice not to get something in return but to share something with all of us – eternal life. The bonus for Him is that He gets to share that with us. Go out and serve others not because you need something but because you have something wonderful to share, a message of hope and salvation.